Waterfront event in Massachusetts gains federal funds

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The Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts received a $45,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to produce the 2014 Working Waterfront Festival.

The 11th annual festival will take place Sept. 27-28 in New Bedford, Mass., America’s largest commercial fishing port.

The free event opens the waterfront to the public with a rare look into commercial fishing, America’s oldest industry.

The 2014 festival will put the spotlight on the historic and contemporary role of fishing families. Festival programming will highlight the skills, knowledge and traditions that are passed from one generation to the next.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States,” acting chairman Joan Shigekawa said in a statement. “Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable experiences for the public to engage with the arts.”

“These funds will enable us to continue to provide a forum for the commercial fishing community to tell its own story and a unique and significant opportunity for the public to learn firsthand about the lives, skills and traditions of the working waterfront,” festival director Laura Orleans said.

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